Mission Statement

Energy@Stanford & SLAC conference

The Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford (PIE) serves as the hub of a broad and deep network of experts from various science, technology, behavioral, and policy disciplines who are working independently and collaboratively to solve the world's most pressing energy problems.

PIE's mission is to advance the goal of major and rapid energy transformations.  PIE provides funding and associated support for cutting-edge energy research, creates and maintains avenues for effective communication and intellectual exchange among scholars and others seeking energy solutions, and develops energy-literate leaders and communities through educational programs and the dissemination of research results.


Stanford’s broad network of world-class researchers working on energy-related problems spans more than 200 faculty members working in 22 academic departments and more than two dozen independent labs and programs. By creating formal and informal links,the Precourt Institute fosters opportunities for scientists, engineers, social scientists, and legal and business scholars to solve the world’s energy problems.

Our seed grant program funds faculty research with potential for high impact on energy supply and use. These “proof of concept” awards, which focus on interdisciplinary research, bridge theory to early experiments and analysis. Positive results allow researchers to proceed to large-scale studies. In addition, the institute's senior fellows help coordinate similar efforts among other Stanford centers and programs.

Key to the comprehensive energy network is creating avenues for interaction among Stanford scholars and people in business, government and other institutions engaged in solving energy problems. Toward that end, the Precourt Institute co-hosts conferences and workshops with other groups throughout the year. To facilitate interaction between Stanford researchers and the private sector, we support the Stanford Energy 3.0 program.

Education & Outreach

The Precourt Institute’s weekly Energy Seminar informs the Stanford community on energy and environmental issues and perspectives. Speakers come from leading research institutions, energy companies, government   and other organizations. The seminar is offered as a for-credit course for Stanford students throughout the academic year, and is free and open to the public.

Energy @ Stanford and SLAC is a one-week conference for graduate and professional-school students interested in energy. Students witness the breadth and depth of research across Stanford, and network with faculty, staff and fellow students.

The Precourt Institute for Energy works with Stanford schools and departments to identify promising energy scholars and areas of scholarship, and to make new faculty appointments to augment the university’s energy network. We disseminate the results of Stanford energy research to other institutions, the business community and the media. Institute staff provide these services to other Stanford energy research centers not large enough to employ such staff on their own. We also assist the student-led Stanford Energy Club, which networks more than 600 students, scholars and local professionals interested in energy issues.

The following centers, programs and projects are significant strands in the fabric of interdisciplinary energy research at Stanford.